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EMBO J. 1993 Jan;12(1):195-200.

N-myc suppresses major histocompatibility complex class I gene expression through down-regulation of the p50 subunit of NF-kappa B.

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Division of Molecular Genetics, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown 02129.


In neuroblastoma, N-myc suppresses the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) Class I antigens by reducing the binding of a nuclear factor to the enhancer-A element in the MHC Class I gene promoter. We show here that the p50 subunit of NF-kappa B is part of this complex and that expression of p50 mRNA is suppressed by N-myc. Transfection of a p50 expression vector in neuroblastoma cells that express N-myc at a high level leads to restoration of factor binding to the MHC Class I gene enhancer, restores enhancer activity and leads to re-expression of MHC Class I antigens at the cell surface. These data indicate that the p50 subunit of NF-kappa B is involved in the regulation of MHC Class I antigen expression and that N-myc down-regulates MHC Class I gene expression primarily through suppression of p50 expression.

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